Fight erupts between Assembly members and former president Correa over attorney general

Nov 7, 2023 | 0 comments

By Rex Allison

Only weeks before the new National Assembly begins its term, accusations are flying among some of its members and former president Rafael Correa. On Monday, President-elect Daniel Noboa joined the fight.

Ecuador Attorney General Diana Salazar

At issue is Correa’s claim that an agreement between the Citizens Revolution and two other parties regarding Assembly leadership would allow an impeachment trial of Attorney General Diana Salazar. Correa was particularly angered when Salazar ordered an investigation into the employment by the Pichincha Province prefect’s office of a personal assistant to his former vice president, Jorge Glas. Police raided the prefect’s office November 2, removing documents and computer files.

The raid was ordered based on evidence that Glas’ assistant, Soledad Padilla, continued to work for Glas while she was on the prefect’s payroll. Padilla recently broke off what she called an “intimate relationship” with Glas, who is serving a six-year prison sentence for corruption.

Correa attacked Attorney General Diana Salazar last week, calling her “ridiculous, an inept and corrupt woman and a worldwide laughingstock.” Correa added that the Assembly would soon begin impeachment proceedings against Salazar.

Assemblymembers from the Social Christian Party and Naboa’s National Democratic Action, the parties involved in the leadership talks, took issue with the former president, claiming there was no agreement to put Salazar on trial. “This was never part of the discussions,” according to Social Christian Henry Kronfle, considered the favorite to be the new Assembly president. “The ex-president wasn’t here and is not a member of the Assembly so how does he know what we talked about?”

Correa responded, calling Kronfle a “liar.”

Other Social Christians and National Democrats supported Kronfle, that there was no agreement regarding a Salazar trial. “As a matter of fact, we fully support her efforts to fight corruption,” said National Democratic Action leader Valentina Centeno. “Her name did not come up in the talks and neither did the topic of impunity for former government officers.”

On Monday, Noboa joined the controversy, saying the country had more important issues to deal with than “personal vendettas.”

He said the new government and Assembly will focus on specific crises, such as drug violence and employment. “There are those who would attempt impeach our attorney general, but we need to protect individuals like her who are working hard against criminal organizations operating in the country,” Noboa said.

María Paula Romo, leader of Assembly’s Construye Movement, called Correa a “a bitter, lonely man” upset by the Citizens Revolution’s recent losses, including the presidential election. “He has gone after Salazar since she began prosecuting the corruption of his administration four or five years ago. This attack on her again reveals his irrational anger, not to mention his racist and sexist attitudes.”
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Rex Allison is a former contributor to Ohio Public Radio. He has been a Cuenca resident since 2017.

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